Emotional wellbeing is not the absence of emotions, but it is your ability to understand the value of your emotions and use them to move your life forward in positive directions.
A useful definition of emotional wellbeing is offered by the Mental Health Foundation: ‘A positive sense of wellbeing which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life; people in good mental health have the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune.’
Being a young person carries many risk factors which may have a negative impact on a young person’s emotional wellbeing, such as poor housing, economic disadvantage, serious illness, homophobic bullying, abuse or bereavement. Any of these factors can have a profound impact on a young person’s self-esteem and their ability to learn. As many as one in five children in our classrooms may be experiencing a psychological problem at any one time.
Everyday emotional well-being also involves identifying, building upon, and operating from your strengths rather than focusing on fixing problems or weaknesses. The better you are able to master your emotions, the greater your capacity to enjoy life, cope with stress, and focus on important personal priorities.
What kind of benefits can you expect?
Some benefits of gaining greater emotional well-being include knowing that your needs are important and that you deserve to have a life where you feel happy and secure. As you achieve emotional balance, you are able to identify your heart’s desires, take positive action, and make changes in your life.
With emotional well-being, you can experience:
- Healing – from stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and other issues
- Change – to transform unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving
- Self-confidence – as you gain trust and belief in yourself
- Growth – to live more authentically
Leave worry, stress, and despair behind as you learn to lead your life with vision, inspired action, and an inner state of creativity. Emotional freedom is your ability to connect with your body and utilize emotions, feelings, senses, and intuition to guide you into an empowered alignment with purpose.
How do we improve our emotional wellbeing?
How do we make ourselves emotionally strong? Preventative approaches are much better than intervention after a problem has emerged. Thus a focus on ‘emotional resilience’ will be helpful. Opportunities for young people to deal with the social world through skills like participating, handling conflict, mutual responsibility and relationships will enhance a child’s capacity for the management of life.
The key to a happy and healthy life
The years of adolescence and young adulthood are ones of upheaval, change, and growth. How you meet the challenges of these years will to some extent determine your future life. Learning the skills needed to handle emotional problems will give you a foundation of mental and emotional health.
Emotional health has many aspects. Put simply, it is based on self-esteem -how you feel about yourself- and behavior that is appropriate and healthy. Someone who is emotionally healthy:
- Understands and adapts to change
- Copes with stress
- Has a positive self-concept
- Has the ability to love and care for others
- Can act independently to meet his or her own needs
Everyone, including people who are emotionally healthy, has problems. Emotionally healthy people are able to adjust to and solve problems, and in doing so they help others as well as themselves to get satisfaction out of life.
Building your emotional wellbeing
There is more to building emotional wellness than just mastering your daily moods. Observe your daily RESPONSE or REACTIONS to life. It speaks volumes of your emotional health. You will come to know if you are building a life or a hell to your personal well-being and future.
Your emotional wellness or emotional health is like a deep well. When the water is clean, it gives life to everyone who drinks from it. When the water becomes toxic over time, it is not only hazardous to everyone’s health but also corrodes the well beyond repair over time.
Building emotional wellness is a commitment to listening and becoming fully aware of what is going on inside you in relation to your physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.
It involves observing your actions or reactions and tracing its causes or roots deep within you to finding your underlying unhappiness.
You follow the feelings of your reactions and feel deep within you as you ask intently why you behave and feel the way you do.
Such an approach to building emotional wellness is intense, demands alertness and a keen awareness of your thoughts and feelings.
Building your resilience
- Resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance in your life as you deal with stressful circumstances and traumatic events. This happens in several ways, including:
- Letting yourself experience strong emotions, and also realizing when you may need to avoid experiencing them at times in order to continue functioning
- Stepping forward and taking action to deal with your problems and meet the demands of daily living, and also stepping back to rest and reenergize yourself
- Spending time with loved ones to gain support and encouragement, and also nurturing yourself
- Relying on others, and also relying on yourself